4’48”, HD Video & Stereo Sound, 2022


Infected (2022) is a narrative-based short film created as part of the Short Sound Film course of Year 3, conceptualised and filmed in the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. The imposed self-isolation and its effects on our day-to-day life are integral to the theme of the film. The narrative centres around the conditionings of modern life and its rigorous rhythms synthesizing a dysfunctional lifestyle. Human alienation, and the intense use of technology and social media impact human behaviour and psychology. High importance and value are given to the use of everyday sounds forming a counterargument on the dependency of technology into question to suggest an alternative way of interacting with sound: the attentive listening and appreciation of everyday sonic environments. Influenced thematically by Yorgos’ Lanthimos, Lobster (2015),  Darren Aronofsky’s Pi  (1998) and Dogma 95, this short moving image sequence encapsulates the claustrophobic world of the protagonist and is being expressed visually through a range of medium and close shots. Handheld shots are used to create intimacy with the viewer and express the character’s psychological state filled with anxiety, loneliness and confusion sonically enhanced with the use of hyper-realistic sounds of his sonic environment. The mise-en-scene reflects his dull and bleak emotional state framed within a dark and sterilised living space.

The narrative development is unravelled within the blurred boundaries of reality and illusion, creating a confusing structure and widening the scope of interpretation for the viewer. The repetition of day-to-day tasks and emotional struggle interweave the understanding of the character’s reality: the ostensible stillness of his treadmill is intertwined with a turmoil of emotions. The sound design responds to these themes by expressing the emotional state of the character whilst also evoking tension and the sense of the uncanny when a virus infects his computer and his domestic comfort and routine is disturbed.

In considering the amorphous boundaries of music and sound design whilst reflecting on the influence of contemporary music expanding the traditional notions of performance, this film focuses on sounds heard everywhere around us. The character’s loneliness is situated in a claustrophobic environment inscribed into the time continuum through the collection of sounds expressing the tension between the character and his surroundings. Rhythmical sounds of the character’s sonic environment such as a clock ticking, water dripping, and heart beating accompany the static shots that dominate the screen. The long silences expressing the “room tone” are intergraded and layered with long sustained and looped minor notes, high pitched and thick textures aim to express the feeling of frustration and desperation whilst also providing a continual warning and evoking suspense to the viewer. A wide range of different microphones; contact, hydrophone, coil pick up, dynamic and condenser are used to achieve different textures and tones. More specifically, the computer virus is contextualised in the transmissive nature and fluidity of the actual virus using a hydrophone and electromagnetic coil pick up microphone to capture sounds. The sequence has been edited in Premiere Pro, sound designed and mixed in ProTools.

Infected (2020) Access Denied

Infected (2020) Is it a dream?

Infected (2020) Something Strange